Pieces of column too short to use

Dan Rodricks

May 06, 1992|By Dan Rodricks

Blah-Blah-Blah-Of-The-Week: Alan Keyes, whiningly defending his decision to pay himself $8,500 a month in campaign funds while he runs for the U.S. Senate: "I work for a living and I don't mind saying that I am proud of being a working person." Who knew campaigning for office paid so well? Nice work, if you can get it. Or if you can find fat friends to pay your way.

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Remember Wilbur Cox, the Patterson Park baseball kid whose Bazooka face appeared with this column last week? His photograph, by Harry Connolly, now adorns the reception area on the club level at Oriole Park. Wilbur's mother, proud Mary Cox, will get to see her son's happy mug on display soon when she, her husband and Wilbur himself attend an Oriole game. Team President Larry Lucchino offered club-level tickets to the Cox clan after reading that neither Wilbur nor his parents had seen the 40-inch-by-40-inch photo on display. Meanwhile, Wilbur's fame continues to spread. You can find his smiling face in this month's Washingtonian.

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In that column about Wilbur, I incorrectly listed Lord Baltimore Press as the sponsor of a team in the Highlandtown Exchange Baseball League. The Lord Baltimore Laundry Inc. should have been identified as the sponsor. Sorry. I was misinformed. . . . Also, in a recent column about lawyer advertising in Maryland, I reported that celebrity endorsements will not be allowed under new rules approved by the Maryland Court of Appeals. Make that "non-client" celebrity endorsements. In other words, Bubba Smith is still in business.

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Rodney Philips, mentioned in the last "Pieces" column two weeks ago, complained that after he agreed to buy two $18 club-level tickets for an April home game at Oriole Park, he was told, in the very next breath, that he had to pay $25 a ticket. The extra $7 a ticket was a service fee for having a waitress. Rodney's complaint was with the ticket agents' double-talk. That was the point of his gripe. Jack Hughes, a reader in Columbia, didn't get it. He wrote a letter criticizing Rodney for being a procrastinator, which, to me, was irrelevant. Anyway, I'll let Jack have his say: "The Orioles sell inexpensive tickets to those who have sense enough to plan ahead or to those who have the patience to wait in line after arriving early. Your paper even sponsors bargain nights! I concur with whomever suggested that you 'cut out that stuff about Oriole Park being a rich man's ballpark.' They did their homework and you didn't."

And nya-nya-nya, Jack!

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Vanity tags seen on the Jones Falls Expressway (diplomatic plates): 4MEDAB. . . . And one that didn't quite fit: GARYSBM. . . . A colleague's definition of savvy: "Knowing enough not to count change from a friend." . . . Another pal's definition of heaven: "Being able to make a U-turn from the southbound lane of Sharp Street to northbound, into a big space directly in front of my house, all in one smooth move, even while there's an Oriole game two blocks away."

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As for my suggestion that Oriole Park needs organ music, here's Paul Baker's advice: "We have made the issue confrontational, a battle you could not win. Let's quietly put in an organ and give it a place within the theme of the park. Even the dissenters wouldn't mind three to six minutes of organ music." Baker is, of course, correct. If an organist started playing one night at Oriole Park, most people wouldn't notice; it actually would sound familiar, as if it had been there all along. But enough! I pledged not to fight this battle further.

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Hey, you! Yeah, you! The skinny guy in the Express Cash-Only line at Hechinger's North Plaza last Sunday morning between 10:30 and 11. You know who you are! You're the one who not only used a credit-card for a purchase, but had to have a price check on a paint brush to boot! And the line behind you included me, a 25-pound bag of organic fertilizer, a woman with a toddler in her arms, and a woman with a sack of Sakrete. You oughta be ashamed of yourself!

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I was never big on "alumni affairs." Wearing my University of Bridgeport (Conn.) sweat shirt is about the extent of my tribute to the ole alma mater. Of late, I've been trying to duck humiliating conversations about the university's sad financial affairs. I didn't think anyone in Baltimore would be aware of the school's recent bailout by an organization controlled by the Unification Church. But what happens? I wear my purple-and-gray sweat shirt into the Tuxedo Pharmacy, and the clerk looks at it and says: "Isn't that that Moonie College?" I wonder what Homecoming will be like next fall.

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